King Henry I "Beauclerc" of England

King Henry I "Beauclerc" of England[1]

Male 1068 - 1135  (~ 67 years)    Has more than 100 ancestors and more than 100 descendants in this family tree.

Personal Information    |    Media    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All

  • Name Henry I "Beauclerc" of England 
    Prefix King 
    Nickname Beauclerc 
    Relationshipwith Francis Fox
    Born Sep 1068  Selby, Yorkshire Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Christened 5 Aug 1100 
    Gender Male 
    Died 11 Dec 1135  Gisors, St. denis, Seine-St. denis, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried 4 Jan 1136  Reading Abbey, Reading, Berkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I6049  Geneagraphie | Voorouders HW
    Links To This person is also Hendrik I van Engeland at Wikipedia (Nederlands) 
    Links To This person is also Henry I of England at Wikipedia (English) 
    Last Modified 19 Oct 2017 

    Father King William de Normandie, "the Conqueror",   b. 1027, Falaise Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Sep 1087, Rouen, Normandie, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 60 years) 
    Mother Matilda van Vlaanderen,   b. Abt 1031,   d. 2 Nov 1083, Caen Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 52 years) 
    Married 1053  Cath. Notre Dame d'Eu Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Siblings 11 siblings 
    Family ID F2703  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Queen Edith (Mathilda) of Scotland,   b. Oct 1079, Dunfermline, Fifeshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 May 1118, Westminster Palace, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 38 years) 
    Married 11 Nov 1100  Westmister Abbey, Lond Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Richard of England,   b. 1105,   d. 25 Nov 1120, sinking of the White Ship, Barfleur, Manche, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 15 years)
     2. Queen Matilda of England,   b. 5 Aug 1102, Winchester, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Sep 1169, Notre Dame, Rouen, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years)
     3. Duke William de Normandie, "Athling",   b. 5 Aug 1103, Winchester, Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Nov 1120, sinking of the White Ship, Barfleur, Manche, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 17 years)
    Last Modified 19 Oct 2017 
    Family ID F2696  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Adelaide de Louvain,   b. 1102-1103, Louvain, Belgium Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Apr 1151, Affligem Abbey, Flanders, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 48 years) 
    Married 29 Jan 1122  Windsor Castle, Berkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified 19 Oct 2017 
    Family ID F2695  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Married
    • a woman of Caen
    Children 
    +1. Earl Robert de Caen de Mellent,   b. Abt 1090, Caen, Calvados, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 Oct 1147, Bristol, Gloucester, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 57 years)
    Last Modified 19 Oct 2017 
    Family ID F316273  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 4 Sybilla Corbet,   b. Abt 1077, Alcester, Warwick, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1156  (Age ~ 80 years) 
    Married Abt 1092 
    Children 
     1. Sybilla of England,   b. Abt 1092, Domfront, Normandy Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Jul 1122, Island of the Woman, Loch Tay, Perthshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 30 years)
     2. William de Normandie,   b. Bef 1105, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1187  (Age ~ 83 years)
    +3. Earl Reynold de Dunstanville,   b. 1110-1115, Dunstanville, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Jul 1175, Chertsey Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 60 years)
     4. Rohese of England,   b. Abt 1114,   d. Aft 1176  (Age ~ 63 years)
    Last Modified 19 Oct 2017 
    Family ID F2701  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 5 Edith FitzForne,   b. Abt 1084, Greystoke, Cumberland, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1152  (Age ~ 68 years) 
    Children 
     1. Robert FitzEdith,   d. 1172
    Last Modified 19 Mar 2010 
    Family ID F8821  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 6 Ansfride,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married Abt 1090 
    Children 
     1. Juliane de Fontevrault,   b. Abt 1090,   d. Aft 1136  (Age ~ 47 years)
     2. Fulk,   b. Bef 1100,   d. Yes, date unknown
     3. Richard of Lincoln,   b. Bef 1101,   d. 25 Nov 1120, Barfleur, Manche, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 19 years)
    Last Modified 24 Mar 2002 
    Family ID F2699  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 7 Edith,   d. Aft 1130 
    Married Abt 1086 
    Children 
     1. Matilda of England,   b. 1086,   d. 25 Nov 1120, sinking of the White Ship, Barfleur, Manche, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 34 years)
    Last Modified 19 Mar 2010 
    Family ID F2697  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 8 Isabelle de Beaumont,   b. Abt 1104, Leicester, Leicestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1172  (Age ~ 69 years) 
    Married Abt 1120 
    Children 
     1. Isabelle de Normandie,   b. Abt 1120,   d. Yes, date unknown
    +2. Constance of England,   b. 1120-1130,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 24 Mar 2002 
    Family ID F2698  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 9 Princess Nest ferch Rhys,   b. Abt 1073, Dynevor, Llandyfeisant, Carmarthenshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1114  (Age ~ 41 years) 
    Married 1103-1105 
    Children 
     1. Henry FitzHenry,   b. 1103-1105, Narberth & Pebidiog, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1157, Anglesey, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 52 years)
    Last Modified 19 Mar 2010 
    Family ID F2700  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Married
    • Unknown partners
    Children 
    +1. Matilda (Maud) of England,   b. 1102,   d. 10 Sep 1169, Hermeville Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years)
    +2. Alice (Aline) of England,   d. Yes, date unknown
    +3. Baron William de Tracy,   b. Aft 1090, Bradninch, Devonshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1136  (Age ~ 45 years)
    +4. Richilde of England,   b. Abt 1100,   d. Yes, date unknown
    +5. Elisabeth (Joan ) of Gloucester,   b. 1084-1095, Gloucester, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Between 1132 and 1194  (Age 37 years)
    +6. Sybilla de Falaise,   d. Yes, date unknown
    +7. Emma of England,   b. Abt 1110,   d. Yes, date unknown
     8. Maud of Montivilliers,   d. Yes, date unknown
     9. Gilbert of England,   b. Abt 1130,   d. 1142  (Age ~ 12 years)
     10. NN of England,   d. Yes, date unknown
     11. NN of England,   d. Yes, date unknown
     12. Euphamia of England,   b. Jul 1101,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 19 Oct 2017 
    Family ID F17240  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map Click to display
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 29 Jan 1122 - Windsor Castle, Berkshire, England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    6049.jpg
    6049.jpg

  • Notes 
    • Koning van Engeland 1100-1135, 4e zoon van Willem. Zijn "Charta Libertatum" leidde de verzoening van de Angelsaksen met de Normandische veroveraars in en kan als de eerste grondwet van Engeland worden gezien.
      Duke of Normandy 1106-1135 after his brother Robert Curthose was deposed Stuart p. 68: the first King of England to use and grant a coat of arms
      Henry I was the fourth and most capable son of William the Conqueror and Matilda, born 1068, and nicknamed "Beauclerc" (fine scholar) for his above average education. He married Eadgyth (who later took the name Matilda), daughter of Malcolm III of Scotland, who bore him two sons and a daughter. One son died very early, and the other, William, died in the wreck of the White Ship in November 1120, leaving the daughter, Matilda, as the sole heir. Eadgyth died in 1118, and Henry married Adelaide of Louvain, but the union produced no offspring. Henry also had two fairly significant illegitimate children - Robert de Mellent, Earl of Gloucester, and Sibylla, wife of the Scottish King Alexander I. Henry's was the longest reign of the Norman line, lasting thirty-five years.
      The first years of Henry's reign were concerned with subduing Normandy. His father divided his kingdoms between Henry's older brothers, leaving England to William and Normandy to Robert. Henry inherited no land, but received £5000 in silver. He played both sides in his brothers' quarrel, leading both to distrust Henry, and sign a mutual accession treaty barring their brother from the crown. Henry's hope arose when Robert went on the First Crusade; should William die, Henry would be the obvious choice. Henry was in the woods hunting on the morning of William's death, August 2, 1100. He moved quickly and was crowned king on August 5, his coronation charter denouncing William's oppressive policies and promising good government. Robert returned to Normandy a few weeks later, but escaped final defeat until 1106, at the Battle of Tinchebrai. Robert was captured and lived the remaining twenty-eight years of his life as Henry's prisoner.
      Henry was drawn into controversy with the Church over the lay investiture issue - the practice of selling clergy appoints by the king to gain revenue, heavily opposed by Gregorian reformers in the Church. He ignored the situation until he was threatened with excommunication by Pope Paschal II in 1105, reaching a compromise with the papacy: he would officially denounce lay investiture, but prelates were to continue to do homage for their fiefs. In practice, it changed little - the king still had the deciding voice in appointing ecclesiastical offices - but it a marked a point when kingship was viewed as purely secular, and subservient to the Church.
      A solution to the lay investiture controversy and conquest of Normandy were accomplished in 1106, allowing Henry to expand his power. Henry mixed generosity with violence in motivating allegiance to the crown, appointing loyal and gifted men to administrative positions. Roger of Salisbury, the most famous of Henry's servants, was instrumental in organizing a department for collection of royal revenues, the Exchequer. The Exchequer quickly gained notoriety for sending out court officials to judge local financial disputes, weakening the feudal courts controlled by local lords, and won the title "Lion of Justice".
      The final years of his reign were concentrated on war with France and succession concerns upon the death of his son William in 1120. The marriage to Adelaide was fruitless, leaving Matilda his only surviving legitimate heir. She was recalled to Henry's court in 1125 after the death of her husband, Emperor Henry V of Germany; Henry forced the barons to swear they would accept Matilda as Queen upon Henry's death. She was then forced to marry the sixteen-year-old Geoffrey of Anjou (founder of the Plantagent dynasty) in 1128 to continue the Angevin alliance. The marriage was unpopular with the Norman barons, but Matilda and Geoffrey produced a male heir, prompting Henry to force another oath from the barons in support of Matilda.
      In summer 1135, Henry refused to give custody of certain key Norman castles to Geoffrey, as a show of good will, and the pair entered into war. Henry's life ended in this sorry state of affairs - war with his son-in-law - in December 1135.

      Henry was in reality a usurper. He imprisoned his older brother, Robert in Cardiff Castle in Wales, and it is said he had Robert's eyes put out. Henry reigned thirty-five years, not only over England, but over one third of France. In 1120 the White Ship went down on a hidden rock in the English Channel with the Crown Prince on board and it is said Henry I is never known to have smiled again. He had only one child left, Maude-Matilda, then a widow of the German Emperor Henry V. For political reasons she was next married to Geoffrey of Anjou, a boy of sixteen, ten years her junior. After the death of Henry I there was civil war between Matilda and her nephew Stephen, who got the throne for nineteen years. At one point in this contest Matilda had to escape from the Robert Doyley tower of Oxford Castle by sliding down a rope with gloved hands, the rope held by her favorite knight, Alain. She, with a few others dressed in white to avoid detection, crossed in the snowy night over the frozen Thames. The condition of the English people was deplorable during the reign of Henry I, owing to the blood-curdling cruelty of the Barons. Henry established a vigorous police system to check this, and tried to stop counterfeiting the money by mutilations. He oppressed his people by taxation.
      Henry I was born in the year 1068---a factor he himself regarded as highly significant, for he was the only son of the Conqueror born after the conquest of England, and to Henry this meant he was heir to the throne. He was not an attractive proposition: he was dissolute to a degree, producing at least a score of bastards; but far worse he was prone to sadistic cruelty---on one occasion, for example, personally punishing a rebellious burgher by throwing him from the walls of his town.
      At the death of William the Conqueror, Henry was left no lands, merely 5,000 pounds of silver. With these he bought lands from his elder brother Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy, only to see them taken back again a few years later by Robert, in unholy alliance with his brother William Rufus.
      Henry could do little to avenge such treatment, but in England he found numerous barons who were tired of the exactions and ambitions of their king. He formed alliances with some of these, notably with the important De Clare family. He and some of the De Clares were with William Rufus on his last hunting expedition, and it is thought that the king's death was the result of Henry's plotting.
      Certainly he moved fast to take advantage of it; leaving Rufus's body unattended in the woods, he swooped down on Winchester to take control of the treasury. Two days later he was in Westminster, being crowned by the Bishop of London. His speed is understandable when one realises that his elder brother, Robert [Curthose], was returning from the crusade, and claimed, with good reason, to be the true heir.
      Henry showed great good sense in his first actions as King. He arrested Ranulph Flambard, William's tax-gatherer, and recalled Anselm, the exiled Archbishop. Furthermore, he issued a Charter of Liberties which promised speedy redress of grievances, and a return to the good government of the Conqueror. Putting aside for the moment his many mistresses, he married the sister of the King of Scots, who was descended from the royal line of Wessex; and lest the Norman barons should think him too pro-English in this action, he canged her name from Edith to Matilda. No one could claim that he did not aim to please.
      In 1101 Robert Curthose invaded, but Henry met him at Alton, and persuaded him to go away again by promising him an annuity of Ð2,000. He had no intention of keeping up the payments, but the problem was temporarily solved.
      He now felt strong enough to move against dissident barons who might give trouble in the future. Chief amongst these was the vicious Robert of Bellême, Earl of Shrewsbury, whom Henry had known for many years as a dangerous troublemaker. He set up a number of charges against him in the king's court, making it plain that if he appeared for trial he would be convicted and imprisoned. Thus Robert and his colleagues were forced into rebellion at a time not of their own choosing, were easily defeated and sent scuttling back to Normandy.
      In Normandy Robert Curthose began to wreak his wrath on all connected with his brother, thus giving Henry an excellent chance to retaliate with charges of misgovernment and invade. He made two expeditions in 1104-5, before the great expedition of 1106 on which Robert was defeated at the hour-long battle of Tinchebrai, on the anniversary of Hastings. No one had expected such an easy victory, but Henry took advantage of the state of shock resulting from the battle to annex Normandy. Robert was imprisoned (in some comfort, it be said); he lived on for 28 more years, ending up in Cardiff castle whiling away the long hours learning Welsh. His son William Clito remained a free agent, to plague Henry for most of the rest of his reign.
      In England the struggle with Anselm over the homage of bishops ran its course until the settlement of 1107. In matters of secular government life was more simple: Henry had found a brilliant administrator, Roger of Salisbury, to act as Justiciar for him. Roger had an inventive mind, a keen grasp of affairs, and the ability to single out young men of promise. He quickly built up a highly efficient team of administrators, and established new routines and forms of organisation within which they could work. To him we owe the Exchequer and its recording system of the Pipe Rolls, the circuits of royal justiciars spreading the king's peace, and the attempts at codification of law. Henry's good relationships with his barons, and with the burgeoning new towns owed much to skilful administration. Certainly he was able to gain a larger and more reliable revenue this way than by the crude extortion his brother had used.
      In 1120 came the tragedy of the White Ship. The court was returning to England, and the finest ship in the land was filled with its young men, including Henry's son and heir William. Riotously drunk, they tried to go faster and faster, when suddenly the ship foundered. All hands except a butcher of Rouen were lost, and England was without an heir.
      Henry's only legitimate child was Matilda, but she was married to the Emperor Henry V of Germany, and so could not succeed. But in 1125 her husband died, and Henry brought her home and forced the barons to swear fealty to her---though they did not like the prospect of a woman ruler. Henry then married her to Geoffrey of Anjou, the Normans' traditional enemy, and the barons were less happy---especially when the newly-weds had a terrible row, and Geoffrey ordered her out of his lands. In 1131 Henry, absolutely determined, forced the barons to swear fealty once more, and the fact that they did so is testimoney of his controlling power. Matilda and Geoffrey were reunited, and in 1133 she produced a son whom she named for his grandfather. If only Henry could live on until his grandson was old enough to rule, all would be well.
      But in 1135, against doctor's orders, he ate a hearty meal of lampreys, got acute indigestion, which turned into fever, and died. He was buried at his abbey in Reading---some said in a silver coffin, for which there was an unsuccessful search at the Dissolution. [Source: Who's Who in the Middle Ages, John Fines, Barnes & Noble Books, New York, 1995]
    • (Medical):or from over eating Lampreys

  • Sources 
    1. [S193] British Pedigrees, Peter Barns-Graham, (Stirnet), Kings of England, Earls of Gloucester, Gernet of Halton (Reliability: 2).


Home Page |  What's New |  Most Wanted |  Surnames |  Photos |  Histories |  Documents |  Cemeteries |  Places |  Dates |  Reports |  Sources